Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain
A remark made by Barbara Harvey at her BDS presentation two weeks ago still sticks in our collective craw: in response to a question, she said “What is being criticized [by the BDS movement] is not a people”. What is being criticized, she clarified, is “[Israeli] state official policy.”
This brought to our minds the observation by Paul Eisen, who wonders why Jews are seemingly shielded from responsibility for the crimes committed on behalf of a Jewish state by Jewish soldiers using weapons adorned with Jewish religious symbols and with the full support and complicity of every mainstream Jewish organization. Ref: Jewish Power.
Cleary we have a tug of war here: Ms. Harvey is warning people not to peer behind the curtain of Jews acting collectively, and Mr. Eisen is calling the question. Since Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends has identified local Jews as a collective part of the problem and hold our protests at a Jewish House of WARship, we clearly see that Mr. Eisen has opened a can of worms that Ms. Harvey would like immediately and permanently closed.
Are Jews to be held responsible for their support of the crimes of the Jewish state? Enter Jewish peace groups: Jewish Voice for Peace (Ms. Harvey is a local leader), International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Israeli Coalition Against House Demolition, Jews for a Free Palestine, Code Pink, etc. They contrast themselves from their co-tribalist pro-Israel organizations like AIPAC, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federations, but both sides clearly indicate a preference for the continued existence of a Jewish state, and certainly side with Ms. Harvey’s answer, with implication: Say what you will about the state of Israel, but don’t you EVER hold Jews accountable for their part in supporting that state.
This sounds a little suspicious to we who hold vigils on Saturday mornings. Who supports the Jewish state more than “the Jews”? Are we allowed to say that? To think it? Does JVP and the BDS movement wish to reduce violence in Palestine, while maintaining Jewish control over the discourse? Is that their main function? Are they the man behind the curtain and we little Toto?
Heavens to Murgatroyd! What shall we do if Jews are somehow responsible for their support of crimes committed by the Jewish state? Will the world cease to exist? Will it draw attention to “anti-semitic” attitudes which just may have roots in collective Jewish behavior? Is learning from past history somehow a key to understanding current anti-Jewish behavior? Can we use this history to chart a different course for Jews or will we be content to wait for the “peasant’s axe” to fall once more?
Hiding behind the curtain solves nothing.
JWPF members Visit Berrien County Courthouse (again)
Two members of JWPF traveled to Benton Harbor to hear Judge Sterling Schrock dismiss at least four of the five legal considerations before him in the case of our friend Reverend Edward Pinkney. Ed has been incarcerated at the Marquette Branch Prison under the Michigan Department of Corrections, 500 miles away from friends and family for the past two months. He appeared well and was obviously moved by the attendance at this legal proceeding. About 60 supporters from across the state showed up for Ed. Mark Fancher of the Michigan ACLU delivered their amicus brief in support of allowing Ed free on bond. Request was denied by Judge Shrock.
What we heard: Pinkney attorney Tat Parish asked prosecutor Mike Sepic to state briefly the direct evidence which linked Ed to the changed dates on some recall petitions, and Sepic refused, saying that the jury already decided, and when you take motive into account with the circumstantial evidence, that “tells us who did this”. Local newspaper article here.
Three vigilers, 4 degrees
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
End Jewish Supremacism